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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 


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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown 


Written By: Riley Porter 



• AVR ISP Programmer M) 

! • ATMeaa328 (-H 

• Arduino microcontroller (1) 

• Chip Puller (1) 


• Tweezers SMT (1 ) 


When I first started working with microcontrollers, I had an Arduino, a few LEDs, a handful of 
DC motors, and very little common sense. :) I learned firsthand that if you did not read 
before you wired stuff up, it could be a costly mistake. However during my hardware infancy 
not all was a loss. I discovered that with a few tools and a spare Atmel microcontroller, you 
can revive a"blown" or "dead" Arduino board. 

This project will show you how to remove and replace the Arduino "brain" (ATmega328P uC). 
And we will re-flash your shiny new replacement chip with the glorious Arduino firmware. 
One thing to note, however: this project will only fix your Arduino if your Atmega328P 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

controller is blown. If any other component is bad on your Arduino then this guide will more 
than likely not be helpful. With that said, let's fix an Arduino! 



pel »..-... - 

Gather up your needed tools. For 
this project, we only really need an 
AVR programmer and an Arduino. 
However to do it "right," we could 
use a few specialty tools. 

• Chip puller (not required but nice 
to have) 

• SMT tweezers (or something 
else to use as a shim) 

• Arduino 

• Atmega328P 


MKII is my choice of 
AVR programmers. There are 
others available. I prefer this 
one as it's pretty cheap ($35) 
and it's also officially 
supported by Atmel. 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

First things first. We need to remove the blown Atmega328P from the Arduino board. This 
can be tricky as if you do not pull the chip out evenly you end up with a bunch of bent pins 
You might be asking yourself, "Why does it matter?" Well, if you know for sure the chip is 
dead then it really doesn't. However you should try to remove the chip correctly for 

Pry the tip of the tweezers into the space between the chip and the chip holder. Create a 
little gap between the chip and the chip socket then go to the other side and do the same. 
Continue this until you have room to insert your chip puller, or until you can easily remove 
the chip by hand. 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

Let's now insert the new Atmega328P into the socket on the Arduino board. This is pretty 
simple; however there are a few things you need to pay attention to. You need to be careful 
that all pins are aligned properly before exerting any downward force. 

• First make sure that you have the new chip oriented correctly. The little "dot" at one end 
should be facing the closest edge of the board. See the image marker for clarity. 

• Make sure all the pins are inserted shallowly into their receptacles. Then push the chip 
down firmly. 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

Let's reprogram this new chip! 

• From here, you need to hook up your AVR ISP programmer. The 6-pin connector has to 
be oriented the correct way. There is a small notch on these connectors. This notch 
should be facing the USB connector. 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 




Auto Format 
Archive Sketch 

Fix Encoding & Reload 

Serial Monitor OKM 

sketch rnarG7b I Arduino 0022 

Serial Port 

Bum Bootloader 


w/ AVRISP mkll 

w/ USBtinyISP 

w/ Parallel Programmer 
w/ Arduino as ISP 

Time to reprogram! If you have not 
downloaded the Arduino IDE, this 
would be a good time to do so. You 
can get it from here . Once you 
have it installed, go ahead and fire 
it up. 

• The last thing to check is to 
make sure you have selected 
the correct board from the Tools 
menu. In this tutorial, we're 
using the Uno. So we've 
selected "Arduino Uno" as our 

Next, we need to "burn the 
bootloader," or in other words, 
program this chip to work with 
the Arduino. Go to: 

Tools » Burn Bootloader » w/ 
AVR ISP mkll 

• If you are using a different AVR 
ISP, make sure you select the 
correct programmer. 

• You should see at the bottom of 
the debug console "Done burning 
bootloader." You should now 
have a working Arduino again! 
The final test is to load up any 
example sketch and click 
Upload. That's it! 

• If you have any errors, 
make sure that your 
programmer header (the 6- pin 
interface) is oriented correctly. 
Also, check that both the 
Arduino and the AVR ISP are 

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Replace and Re-Flash a Blown Arduino 

powered on. I used two different 
USB cables for this. 

In about 15 minutes, you've removed, replaced, and reprogrammed a new Atmega328P to revive 
your Arduino development board. Not bad, don't you think? 

For Arduino news, features, tutorials, a buyer's guide, and more, visit the Make: Arduino page 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -02 1 1 :58:46 PM. 

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